Matt Ryan Explains Colts Trade After Falcons Didn't Acquire Deshaun Watson

Tyler Conway@@jtylerconwayFeatured Columnist IVMarch 28, 2022

Indianapolis Colts quarterback Matt Ryan holds his new jersey following a press conference at the NFL team's practice facility in Indianapolis, Tuesday, March 22, 2022. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)
AP Photo/Michael Conroy

Matt Ryan never expected to be traded this offseason, but when circumstances changed, he knew he wanted to go to Indianapolis.

The former Atlanta Falcons quarterback talked about his departure from Atlanta with Peter King of NBC Sports.

"It became clear when Deshaun did not come, it was on me to let them know that I wanted to seek other options," Ryan said. "I told [owner] Arthur Blank that and he was great about it. The first one I wanted to explore was Indianapolis. I think the mindset really changed after the meeting that I had with Chris Ballard and Frank Reich."

Ryan added that coach Arthur Smith and the entire organization were upfront about the pursuit of Deshaun Watson, who ultimately chose to go to the Cleveland Browns. While he noted there was a level of "disappointment" with the team exploring its options, Ryan said he knew he wanted to explore his own life outside the Falcons organization in the aftermath.

The Colts traded a 2022 third-round pick for Ryan, a surprisingly minimal haul for a player who has his name etched all over the Falcons record book. 

Indianapolis fashions itself a Super Bowl contender but has found itself shuffling through a rotating cast of characters at quarterback. Ryan follows Carson Wentz and Philip Rivers as the third straight quarterback the Colts have acquired in the offseason since Andrew Luck's surprise retirement in 2019.

The team traded Wentz to the Washington Commanders earlier this offseason after a failed one-year tenure. 

Ryan is 36 and a stopgap solution to a long-term problem, but he still likely has enough left in the tank to give the Colts a shot of making a playoff run. The 2016 NFL MVP threw for 3,968 yards and 20 touchdowns against 12 interceptions last season.